GhostStar.net.
Daniel José Older.

by Sharita Gilmore, contributor

Just in time for February’s celebration of diversity, paramedic-turned-writer Daniel José Older will read from some of his urban fantasy novels at Ivy Hall on Monday, Feb. 29 at 6:30 p.m.

Deemed a “rising star of the genre” by Publishers Weekly, Older first started writing because he wanted to shake things up. “I literally started writing my first book on the spark of, ‘Well dammit, we need a ‘Harry Potter’ that speaks to us,’” Older told Specter Magazine. But a few pages into one of his young adult novels, Older’s indignation subsides and is replaced by imagination as readers are transported into supernatural and fantasy-driven worlds taking place in urban cities.

Critical of books lacking racial diversity, Older’s most recent novel, “Shadowshaper,” features an Afro-Latina protagonist. With superpowers inherited from her ancestors, the ability to interact with the spirit world through art and a stretched-out ‘fro, Sierra Santiago is a protagonist The New York Times has called “compelling” and “refreshing.” With Older’s passions ranging from poetry to art to community activism to music to social justice to science fiction, the musician, composer, editor and writer’s lecture and reading is sure to cover a vast range of topics. Passionate about young adults and their artistry, Older is expected to evoke imagination and encourage creative diversity.

For more event details, visit the Ivy Hall event page here. Also, be sure to check out more of Older’s writing on Facebook and Twitter. Music from his band Ghost Star can be heard here. For more information, contact Catherine Ramsdell at cramsdel@scad.edu.